ISFDB talk:Help desk

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Notice: This is the talk page for the Help desk. It should be used to discuss what should or should not be on the help desk, how to format, organize, and archive the helpdesk, and in general should be about the help desk itself. Discussions of the actual ISFDB, and how to do things on it, should be on the actual Help desk page.


Should we archive older posts on the help desk? The page is getting rather large. -DES Talk 10:02, 15 Feb 2008 (CST)

We are now up to archive 05. -DES Talk 17:15, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Help Desk Category - Is the Help Desk, a Help Page?

A question has been brought up about including (paraphrased) 'Non HELP: namespace' pages in Category:ISFDB_Help. Should pages without the 'HELP:' prefix be excluded from the Help Category? In most cases, that's an accurate line for 'In or out' decisions, but the purpose of Category:Categories in general is to guide people to the appropriate page. The first line on ISFDB:Help_desk is "This page is for questions about how to do something, either in the ISFDB or the ISFDB Wiki." If that's not a help page, then I don't know what is and I believe it should be included in Category:ISFDB_Help and now that I read it involves Wiki help, I think it should also be included in Category:Wiki_Help. Kevin 17:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. This page is indeed for giving help to people, but to me a "help page" means a documentation or manual page, not an interactive page such as this one. I think the newly created Category:ISFDB_Help (which i agree is a good thing) should be limited to those pages in the Help namespace that explain how to work with the database proper. -DES Talk 18:01, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I would be inclined to create a Template:HelpHeader along the lines of Template:BioHeader (or Template:PublisherHeader) to provide a standard header for all such pages, and at the same time put them into this category (which would mean that the category name could be changed by one change in one place, if that ever seemed desirable.) -DES Talk 18:01, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with David here. The Help Desk should not be placed into the Help Pages category, for the very reason that he cites. If it must be categorized, then create a Community Portal category and place it along with the other pages linked from that page: moderator notification page, rules and standards discussions page, verification requests. In other words, areas for discussion. MHHutchins 18:14, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Category:ISFDB_Help is for getting people to the help. and as you said above "This page is indeed for giving help to people,..." As far as I can tell, your objection is that this page is not a static Help page. Do you also object to the link I added to the text of Category:ISFDB_Help that points directly at the Help Desk (with a brief explanation of what it is for)? Both objections (and I am assuming the second objection in addition to the first) are equivalent to objecting to having 911 or 999 mentioned in the phone book, since it's not a normal phone number. :D Kevin 18:24, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
A category is for grouping things of the same sort together. The help desk is already linked from the Moderator noticeboard, and from at least two existing help pages. I think i would put a link to it from my proposed Template:HelpHeader so that it would be directly linked to from every static help page in Category:ISFDB_Help. But although this page is inded for giving help to people, it is a different sort of page from the help pages, and it gives peiople help in a different sort of way. That distintion is enough, IMO, to guide people to it by a different route. -DES Talk 22:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree that static (mostly) help pages should be distinct from dynamic conversation pages. An INDEX to all the help pages could say "as a last resort, go and ask for new help on the Help desk" - but doing such probably reveals a fault in the help pages. Of which we have many, don't get me wrong - and they're poorly indexed, and "Category:" pages probably won't help anybody that goes to our main Wiki page and looks for help anyway. BLongley 22:49, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I have now created, and am in the process of applying Template:HelpHeader. Let me know what you think. I tend to agree that a mosre structured set of help indicies is probably more useful than catefories, but the categories can be useful, and cost little time or effort. -DES Talk 23:03, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay... I have no objections to putting a link on every page of the help section, with a disclaimer that you should read the help first. Also no objections to a Help Template. (As opposed to putting it once in a list and once at the top of that list with a disclaimer that you should read the help first). You guys do understand that you argued against including it, (I believe) for fear of overwhelming the page with lazy users (who will ask before reading), and now, you are putting it EVERYWHERE in ISFDB_Help... except the automatically generated list of help pages? I'm fine with your decision... anyone is welcome to revert my change, as long as you understand that you went from 2 links in my solution to 80 links in your solution. Kevin 23:56, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
My concern was not to prevent people finding the Help desk, nor to avoid "overwhelming the page with lazy users", but to try to make the difference between the Help desk and the static manual-type help pages clearer. Perhaps this is not the way to do that. Nothing is grsven in stone. -DES Talk 01:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
See Template_talk:HelpHeader for my comments there on the Header.Kevin 23:56, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Good place to zip Strange Horizons archive page?

I've moved this post to the proper page, and will delete it from this page once you've seen this. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:44, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Series information from the getpub.cgi web api?

This post was moved to the proper page here. Mhhutchins|talk 23:11, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Problem with entry in Japanese

Moving the entry to the project page where such questions should be asked. You can find it here Annie 20:44, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Fantastic Story Magazine

While looking up something else I found this. Is this eligible for the database? If so, as what? If not, why? Just would like to know the rules. MLB 22:46, 15 October 2021 (EDT)

Not eligible because it is not a book really, it is a blank notebook/notepad (with lined pages in this case) with a fancy cover and a stiff price. The only way to have somehow added it would be to pretend it is an art book (so non fiction) but a single cover does not make an artbook. With illustrations out of copyright, there are a lot of these floating around (and some even in copyright - there are usually at least 20 new notebooks with Harry Potter covers every year and when the year journals start showing up you get everything from Moleskine's Le Petit Prince to Star Wars and beyond on covers and don't get me started on some of the other media franchises, especially the juvenile ones). Now - if there was a new illustration every few pages or there was actually a story, it would be eligible because of them. As it is now, it is on the same level as a keyring with a scene from LOTR or a piece of original art of one of our artists. Annie 01:30, 16 October 2021 (EDT) (and this is at the wrong place so moving it out to the project page :) Annie 01:31, 16 October 2021 (EDT)